Saturday, May 14, 2005

Emergent Leadership, Sex and Gender Role

Abstract:
Whoever gets to emerge as a leader may be the one with the right mix of individual traits that the rest of the group may find easy to identify with. Then, does it really matter whether a man or a woman becomes leader? Some observers, leaning on stereotypical data and research, tend to believe that leadership emergene favors men more than women.
We are living in a global market economy where more and more organizations are embracing group projects or teamwork. Team leadership becomes an important buzzword at the same time. There is a large increase of diverse people working shoulder to shoulder on various tasks and goals. Men and women group themselves or are grouped by the organizations in order to reach higher quotas and achieve more productivity. It’s important to note that the effects of sex, gender role on self- and group perceptions of leader emergence fall under the large umbrella of interactive relation. After all, Pierce and Newstrom state in Leaders and the Leadership Process that “leadership can be seen as a working relationship among members of a group.” Commenting on Stogdill’s observation, these two authors suggest that “leadership is a relationship that is associated with the attainment of group objectives, implying that it is an activity, consisting of movement and getting work accomplished.”

There is no doubt that the leadership role is coveted by many people in the group. Therefore, becoming a leader will require more than the application of traits as suggested by the Great Man Theory. Being entrusted with the responsibility of leading the group to performance and satisfaction will require the use of strategies and keen observation. A considerable amount of research has been devoted to understanding the factors associated with individuals emerging as leaders in groups. Two of these characteristics are biological sex and gender role (Goktepe & Schneier, 1989). Past research has consistently shown that men more often emerge as leaders than women (Carbonnell, 1984; Megargee, 1969). Kent, R. L. and Moss, S.E. provides an overview of the literature in Effects of sex and gender role on leaders emergence published by the Academy of Management Journal. They said that this phenomenon has been attributed to internal (Teborg, 1977; Wentworth & Anderson, 1984; White, DeSanctis, & Crino, 1981) and external (Ahrons, 2976; Bowman, Worthy, & Greyson, 1965; Goodale & Hall, 1976; Powell, 1993; Weisman, Morlock, Sack, & Levine, 1976) barriers limiting women’s leader emergence. We must rejoice in the fact that some recent evidence is suggesting that there have been shifts in societal acceptance of women as leaders (Sutton & Moore, 1985) and that some of the barriers that prevented women from emerging as leaders may be coming down (Brenner, Tomkiewicz, & Schein, 1989; Chusmir & Koberg, 1991).

In this paper, we will try to show the relationship between leader emergence and the characteristics of sex and gender role. It’s hoped that we will meet our objectives by clarifying and answering these three questions: (1) Are men more likely to emerge as
leaders in group situations, (2) what are the effects of gender role on leader emergence, and (3) is sex and gender role a good predictor of leader emergence?

It’s appropriate to agree on the definition of leader emergence. “Leader emergence, as contrasted with leadership, is a product of social interaction and results in a consensus among group members that one (or more) individual(s) could serve the group more usefully in attaining group goals than the other members” (Bass, 1981:13). Most of the research investigating emergent leadership has been directed by the trait approach, which assumes that leaders are endowed with certain characteristics that predispose them to be effective in a wide range of situations. Despite the intuitive appeal of the trait approach, strong and consistent empirical support has been lacking. Dobbins, G.H., Long, W.S. & Dedrick, E.J’s article, “The Role of Self-monitoring and Gender on Leader Emergence: A Laboratory and Field Study” is reviewed by Tayna Cheer Clemons. There is a suggestion that leader abilities, aptitudes, interests and personality characteristics typically account for less than 10 percent of the variance in leader emergence. Based on these results, many researchers conclude that a leadership trait or constellation of traits does not exist (e.g., Jenkins, 1947).
If leadership traits are not sufficient in predicting the rise to leadership, Lord, De Vader, and Alliger (1986) conducted a meta-analysis and concluded that previous reviews were far too pessimistic. They suggest that some variance in leader emergence can be predicted by the dominance, intelligence, and masculinity-femininity of the leader. Further, Kenny and Zaccaro (1983) proposed that persons who are consistently cast into leadership positions possess the ability to perceive and predict variations in group situations and pattern their own behavior accordingly. Kenny and Zaccaro’s description of leadership is very similar to the social psychological construct of self-monitoring. Some researchers are saying that females are good at studying social cues. Self-monitoring refers to the ability and willingness to read verbal and non-verbal social cues and alter one’s behaviors (Snyder, 1979). High self-monitors (HSMs) are adept both at reading social cues and at regulating their self-presentation to fit a particular situation. HSMs are typically good actors and are able to display unfelt emotions. They place a premium on impression management and adopt what they see as a pragmatic interpersonal orientation. They rely more on situational factors to determine behavioral appropriateness and less upon their inner feelings, attitudes, and dispositions. They communicate better than low self-monitors. HSMs can spend time more time and energy reviewing background information so that they accurately understand their audience (Elliot, 1979). It is fair to say that self-monitoring has both genetic and environmental precursors though nobody is clear about its origins. HSMs, in contrast to LSMs, are attentive to social comparison information, concerned about the appropriateness of social behavior, relatively adept at acting, able to control behavior and optimize self-presentations (Gangestad & Snyder, 1985). HSMs tend to accurately read the settings and feelings of group members and subsequently exhibit behaviors that match group members’ expectations. As a result, they tend to emerge as leaders more frequently than will LSMs.
It’s worth pondering, for a moment, the effects of sex and gender on leadership emergence. How do women fare with the self-monitoring description? A review of the literature will help us understand what women have had to put up with. Garland and Beard (1979) who tested the prediction found that self-monitoring predicted leader emergence only for women. However, there may be some problems with this testing. The relationship between self-monitoring and emergence can be attenuated because self-monitoring cannot predict emergence when all groups are either high or low. When it comes to accounting for gender effects, a lot of research finds that men emerge as leaders much more frequently than do women. Margargee (1969) examined the effects of dominance of leader emergence and found that men emerged more frequently than women irrespective of dominance levels. The same way, Nyquist and Spence (1986) found that 90 percent of high dominant women, and only 25 percent of high dominant women emerged as leaders over low dominant men. And Wentworth and Anderson (1984) found that men emerged as leaders in 86 percent of mixed-sex groups. Other studies by the same researchers and Fleischer and Chertkoff suggest that women may have been slightly more likely to emerge as leaders in the 1980s than in the 1960s, but their chances of doing so were best when they were perceived as experts.

The major study conducted by Megargee (1969) can shed some more light on the effects of sex and gender on the emergence of leadership within a group. She initially intended the study to be gender-neutral. The subjects rated high on dominance, as measured by the dominance scale on the California Personality Inventory and working in same-sex dyads emerged as leaders 69 percent of the time. In mixed-sex dyads with high-dominance men and low-dominance women, the men emerged as leaders 88 percent of the time. However, in mixed-sex dyads with high-dominance women and low-dominance men, the women emerged as leaders only 25 percent of the time. Anticipating that shifts in societal gender-role expectations would affect the frequency of women’s leader emergence, researchers such as Nyquist and Spence have tried to replicate Megargee’s original study. They also found similar results despite the fact they set up their study to be a more gender-neutral one.

In almost all of the studies conducted by the various researchers, gender-role effects were an important factor. Fagenson (1990) is suggesting that because of traditional gender stereotypes, it appears that the possession of feminine characteristics is detrimental to leader emergence while the possession of masculine ones is beneficial. These days, with so many changes in the workplace, the roles of the sexes have been blurred. The recent women’s liberation movement of the past decades, the mass entrance of women in the work force, the increasing number of female managers (Powell, Posner, & Schmidt, 1984), and the societal shifts in gender-role perceptions have all contributed to these changes. It would be interesting to find out whether because of all these changes women today possess more masculine characteristics than they have at any time in the past. Furthermore, many studies have shown masculinity to be associated with leader emergence. Pierce and Newstrom report “in a study by Goktepe and Schneier (1989), college students performed gender-neutral tasks over the course of a semester. The
effects of both sex and gender role on the leader emergence were assessed. The results indicated that sex had no effect on leader emergence, but gender role did. Specifically, regardless of sex, masculine subjects were more likely to emerge as leaders than feminine, androgynous, and undifferentiated individuals.” In view of these findings, Pierce and Newstrom developed four hypotheses: (1)Men will more often emerge as leaders in group situations than women (2) Group members high in masculinity will emerge as leaders more frequently than those low in masculinity (3) Gender identity will account for more variance in leader emergence than biological sex (4) Individuals classified as masculine or androgynous will emerge as leaders more frequently than individuals classified as feminine or undifferentiated. The study, however, did not indicate whether having feminine characteristics would strengthen or weaken the prospects of leader emergence for those high on masculinity.

It is important to note a few results of this study. The above-named researchers found out that androgynous or hermaphroditic individuals have the same chances of emerging as leader as masculine individuals. The implications of the study can be summarized as follows. First, consistent with previous studies and in support of Hypothesis 2, it is clear that masculinity is still an important predictor of leader emergence. Second, contrary to previous findings, the emergence of androgynous leaders suggests that the possession of feminine characteristics does not decrease an individual’s chances of emerging as a leader as long as the individual also possesses masculine characteristics. Third, as an extension, if women in other contexts are more likely to be androgynous than masculine, as they were in the study, they may have better chances of rising to leadership status. There will have to be verification of androgyny as being related to leader emergence in other settings in future studies. Nothing is conclusive.
Let’s take a look at Eagly’s gender-role theory. It suggests that men are more likely to emerge as leaders in task-oriented groups, but women are more likely to emerge as leaders in socially oriented groups. Conventional wisdom or common sense suggests that systematic connections exist between gender, interaction, and leadership. We all know that group of women are believed to organize social life differently than men. In other words, women are expected to enact less instrumental behavior than men and to create hierarchical structures of power and prestige less often. In mixed-gender settings, women are expected to hold a disproportionate share of low-status positions on power and prestige hierarchies,” observed Walker, Henry A, Llardi, Barbara C, McMahon, Anne M, Fennell, Mary L. in Gender, Interactions, and leadership.

Gender is a status characteristic in U.S. society, and females possess the low state of characteristic (Berger, Rosentholtz, and Zelditch 1980). Let’s look at some of the additional theories behind gender, interaction and leadership.

Walker et al. said “the world of experience appears to verify these presuppositions. Males exercise more influence than females in face-to-face groups such
as families (Strodtbeck 1951; Zelditch 1955) and juries (Strodtbeck, James and Hawkins 1957; Strodtbeck and Mann 1956). They are also more likely than females to become members of prestigious occupations, to hold positions of authority at work (Wolf and Fligstein 1979) and to achieve powerful positions in the corporate and civic worlds (Kanter 1977; Kathlene 1994). After considering the data on gender, interaction and leadership, one may not wonder why there has never been a woman president in the history of the United States.

Based on the gender-role socialization theory, girls and boys are taught to enact gender-typed behaviors; the tendencies, once established, are stable and relatively inflexible. Gender-role socialization (GRS) arguments build on functional theories of role differentiation to explain gender differences in behavior (Bales 1953; Durkheim 1964; Zeditch 1955. GRS arguments predict uniform gender differences. They presume that females enact more expressive than instrumental behaviors, whereas males perform a higher proportion of instrumental acts. What to remember is the following: Gender-role socialization (GRS1) suggests that all-female groups are less likely than all-male groups to develop hierarchical patterns of power and prestige. GRS2 suggests that females are less likely than males to hold top positions on power and prestige structures in mixed-gender groups. Furthermore, we can take a look at the legitimacy theories. LEG 1 stipulate that all-femaile groups are as likely as all-male groups to develop hierarchical patterns of power and prestige. LEG 2 states that females are as likely as males to hold top positions on power and prestige structures in mixed-gender groups. Walker et. al say that the legitimacy arguments presume that some combinations of actors (or identities), roles, and behaviors are more legitimate than others; that is, they are constitutively prescribed or normatively defined as more appropriate. These theories imply that actors whose identities possess equal legitimacy enact similar behavior. Members of homogeneous groups possess equally legitimate identities-in-action.

A more profound review of the existing literature seems to shed more light on the effects of gender role, leader emergence and whether sex and gender role is a good predictor of emergent leadership. Without even taking the natural occurrence of birth order, many females have had lots of experience being leaders. Many of these women are used to holding leadership positions. Ronk (1993) in her study of gender gaps in management failed to find differences between male and female leadership styles based on personality traits and their relationship to leadership quality. The same study also reports that there is no difference between male and female managerial styles and values that predict behavior in men and women. Ronk was not the only researcher who came up with this conclusion. Phillip A. et al. provide the study conducted by Campbell et al. (1993) which concludes that gender has no substantive impact on leadership style. Furthermore, Maccoby and Schein are said to present a large body of literature on sex-role stereotyping which might predispose an individual to expect a particular type of leadership approach from a female leader. Butterfield and Powell (1981) argued that sex-role stereotypes, not sex, are predictors of leadership styles and that leader sex effects appear to be decreasing.. Kent and Moss (1994) also concluded that although women were slightly more likely than men to be perceived as leaders, gender role had a stronger effect than sex on emergent leadership.
In view of all these research results, it remains clear that women have a better chance of being themselves if they want to rise to leadership positions. Rojahn and Willemsen (1994) found only limited support for the gender-role hypothesis that women are more favorably accepted when they act like women and not like men.






References:

Books:
Pierce, J.L. and Newstrom, J.W. Leaders and the Leadership Process. (New York: McGraw Hill Higher Education, 2003)
Powell, G.N. (1988). Women & Men in management. Newbury Park, CA: Sage

Stogdill, R. M. Handbook of leadership: A survey of the literature (New York: Free Press, 1974)
Ahrons, C.R. 1976. Counselor’s perceptions of career images of women. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 8: 197-207.

Berger, J., Rosenholtz, S. J., and Zelditch, M. 1980. “Status organizing Processes.” Annual Review of Sociology 6:479-508. Bischoping, K. 1993. .

Bowman, G.W., Worthy, N.B., & Greyson, S.A. 1965. Problems in review: Are women executives people? Harvard Business Review, 43 (4): 52-67.

Carbonell, J.L. 1984. Sex Roles and leadership revisited. Journal of Applied Psychology, 69: 44-49.

Elliot, G.C. 1979. Some effects of deception and level of self-monitoring on planning and reacting to self presentation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 37: 1282-1292.

Fagenson, E. A.,. 1990. Perceived masculine and feminine attributes examined as a function of individuals’ sex and level in the organizational power hierarchy: A test of four theoretical perspectives. Journal of Applied Psychology, 75: 204-211.

Jenkins, W.O. 1947. A Review of leadership studies with particular reference to military problems. Psychological Bulletin, 44: 54-79

Goktepe, J.R., B Schneier, C.E. 1989. Role of sex, gender roles, and attraction in predicting emergent leaders. Journal of Applied Psychology, 74: 165-167.

Goodale, J.G., & Hall, D.T. 1976. Inheriting a career: The influence of sex, values, and parents. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 8: 19-30.

Kent, R. L., & Moss, S.E. 1990. Self-monitoring as a predictor of leader emergence. Psychological Reports, 66: 875-881

Kenny, D., & Zaccaro, S. 1983. An estimate of variance due to traits in leadership. Journal of Applied Psychology, 68: 678-685.

Megargee, E.I. 1969. Influence of sex roles on the manifestation of leadership. Journal of Applied Psychology, 53: 377-382.
Snyder, M. 1979. Self-monitoring processes. In L. Berkowitz (ed.), Advances in experimental social psychology, 12:86-128. New York: Academic Press.

Nyquist, L.V., & Spence, J.T. 1986. Effects of dispositional dominance and sex role expectations on leadership behaviors. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 50:87-93.
Snyder, M. 1986. Public appearances/private realities. New York: Freeman and Company.
Ronk, LA. (1993), “Gender gaps with management”, Nursing Management, May, pp. 65-7.
Strodtbeck, F.L., 1951. “Husband-Wife Interaction over Revealed Differences.” American Sociological Review 16: 468-73.
Terborg, J.R. 1977. Women in Management: A research review. Journal of Applied Psychology, 62:647-664.

Wentworth, D. K., & Anderson, L.R. 1984. Emergent Leadership as a function of sex and task type. Sex Roles, 11: 513-523.

Walker, H. A., Llardi, B.C., McMahon, Anne M., Fennell, M.L. Gender, Interactions, and leadership. Social Psychology Quarterly. Washington: Sep 1996. Vol. 59, Iss. 3; pg. 255, 18 pgs.

White, M.C., DeSanctis, G., & Crino, M.D. 1981. Achievement, self-confidence, personality traits, and leadership ability: A review of literature on sex differences. Psychological Reports, 48: 547-569.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

The key elements of negotiation are Planning, Negotiation Phases, Narrowing Differences and Closure. I would say that Planning is the most important element in any negotiation. Planning allows you to define the problem that needs to be solved, get a clear idea of the needs, positions, and interests of the parties. It starts with such basic ideas as a party (or a group or company) determining in private (often with the help of colleagues, stakeholders, staff, confidants or counselors) what it is the party actually wants. Often, these wants reflect true “needs.” And some will take an inflexible attitude toward obtaining these “needs.” That is called taking a position or positional bargaining. Once the other party’s interests are determined, once we are sure of our own position, we may want to spend time on getting a bargaining session started. Looking at the landscape of interests, we must keep in mind the three C’s. 1. Interests we share in common—The parties want the same things for the same reasons 2. Some interests are complementary ---We want the same result as the other party, though to serve different needs or interests. 3. Some interests are conflicting—What is in our interests are in (apparent) opposition to those of the other party. There is also another factor in planning which allows you to separate the problem from the people. Those of us who have been negotiating can remember instances such as forceful, argumentative, or domineering personalities try to steamroll over quiet, more passive individuals. The first group tends to get their way all the time. We all know people who seem to get their way more often than not. We must careful to establish the difference between bullying and negotiating. In the planning stage, we also find pre-negotiation, face-to-face planning and post-negotiation review. At this point, it’s worth mentioning that in the planning stage, the parties may want to consider who will be part of the negotiation team. The gender aspects of negotiation comes into play. It makes good sense in many situations to mix and match the gender composition of negotiating teams to work more effectively with other teams. In the end, determining our needs and interests and those of the other parties will help us negotiate much better. I believe that Panning is very important. It helps us consider and rank priorities which are the sequence in which issues are tackled. Do we go from the toughest to the easiest issues? Planning also involves taking a look at the resources and constraints, timing and power play. It helps us to assess the opposition before meeting it head on.

The Key Elements of Negotiation: Which one is the most important?

The key elements of negotiation are Planning, Negotiation Phases, Narrowing Differences and Closure. I would say that Planning is the most important element in any negotiation. Planning allows you to define the problem that needs to be solved, get a clear idea of the needs, positions, and interests of the parties. It starts with such basic ideas as a party (or a group or company) determining in private (often with the help of colleagues, stakeholders, staff, confidants or counselors) what it is the party actually wants. Often, these wants reflect true “needs.” And some will take an inflexible attitude toward obtaining these “needs.” That is called taking a position or positional bargaining. Once the other party’s interests are determined, once we are sure of our own position, we may want to spend time on getting a bargaining session started. Looking at the landscape of interests, we must keep in mind the three C’s. 1. Interests we share in common—The parties want the same things for the same reasons 2. Some interests are complementary ---We want the same result as the other party, though to serve different needs or interests. 3. Some interests are conflicting—What is in our interests are in (apparent) opposition to those of the other party. There is also another factor in planning which allows you to separate the problem from the people. Those of us who have been negotiating can remember instances such as forceful, argumentative, or domineering personalities try to steamroll over quiet, more passive individuals. The first group tends to get their way all the time. We all know people who seem to get their way more often than not. We must careful to establish the difference between bullying and negotiating. In the planning stage, we also find pre-negotiation, face-to-face planning and post-negotiation review. At this point, it’s worth mentioning that in the planning stage, the parties may want to consider who will be part of the negotiation team. The gender aspects of negotiation comes into play. It makes good sense in many situations to mix and match the gender composition of negotiating teams to work more effectively with other teams. In the end, determining our needs and interests and those of the other parties will help us negotiate much better. I believe that Panning is very important. It helps us consider and rank priorities which are the sequence in which issues are tackled. Do we go from the toughest to the easiest issues? Planning also involves taking a look at the resources and constraints, timing and power play. It helps us to assess the opposition before meeting it head on.

The Key Elements of Negotiation: Which one is the most important?

The key elements of negotiation are Planning, Negotiation Phases, Narrowing Differences and Closure. I would say that Planning is the most important element in any negotiation. Planning allows you to define the problem that needs to be solved, get a clear idea of the needs, positions, and interests of the parties. It starts with such basic ideas as a party (or a group or company) determining in private (often with the help of colleagues, stakeholders, staff, confidants or counselors) what it is the party actually wants. Often, these wants reflect true “needs.” And some will take an inflexible attitude toward obtaining these “needs.” That is called taking a position or positional bargaining. Once the other party’s interests are determined, once we are sure of our own position, we may want to spend time on getting a bargaining session started. Looking at the landscape of interests, we must keep in mind the three C’s. 1. Interests we share in common—The parties want the same things for the same reasons 2. Some interests are complementary ---We want the same result as the other party, though to serve different needs or interests. 3. Some interests are conflicting—What is in our interests are in (apparent) opposition to those of the other party. There is also another factor in planning which allows you to separate the problem from the people. Those of us who have been negotiating can remember instances such as forceful, argumentative, or domineering personalities try to steamroll over quiet, more passive individuals. The first group tends to get their way all the time. We all know people who seem to get their way more often than not. We must careful to establish the difference between bullying and negotiating. In the planning stage, we also find pre-negotiation, face-to-face planning and post-negotiation review. At this point, it’s worth mentioning that in the planning stage, the parties may want to consider who will be part of the negotiation team. The gender aspects of negotiation comes into play. It makes good sense in many situations to mix and match the gender composition of negotiating teams to work more effectively with other teams. In the end, determining our needs and interests and those of the other parties will help us negotiate much better. I believe that Panning is very important. It helps us consider and rank priorities which are the sequence in which issues are tackled. Do we go from the toughest to the easiest issues? Planning also involves taking a look at the resources and constraints, timing and power play. It helps us to assess the opposition before meeting it head on.

Read more at AmerEQ: America's EQ

Monday, February 14, 2005

What Am I Reading Now? Zenit.Com Article Sent By A Friend

Here's an excerpt of the article:

Caritas Internationalis, the federation of Catholic humanitarian agencies, has reported that it has raised close to $320 million to help communities affected by the Asian tsunami.

U.S.-based member Catholic Relief Services plans to raise its aid to Asia's tsunami survivors to $80 million from $25 million over a five- to seven-year period.

The tidal wave that may have left more than 300,000 people dead has devastated coastal populations and destroyed the livelihood of many fishing communities.

"Enough time has passed to allow us to see more clearly the expanse of work that will be necessary to help people get back on their feet," said Ken Hackett, president of Catholic Relief Services.

"While we continue to provide emergency aid to those in need, we are already moving into a longer-term recovery phase that will require millions more than originally estimated," he explained.

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Friday, February 11, 2005

Bloggers' Compassion, Solidarity, Self-lessness and Entrepreneurship Fuel Tsunami Relief Efforts

Tonight, I took a short break from my studies to check a few blogs. I stumbled upon a few ones whose owners or editors embrace the notions of servant leadership. After doing a quick search on MSN, Yahoo and Google, I realized that two of my blogs were linked to other blogs. It's great to know that fellow bloggers are reading my contributions. They should also rest assured that I am reading their postings too. I truly believe in the ideas of "citizen journalism." Why can't we do it? The tools are readily available now.

I want to thank the editor of CaleySinclair Blog for linking to AmericaresAboutYou: Tsunami Relief. I am encouraging my readers to check his blog out to see the raw talent that exists around here. In a brief review, Caley noted that a tsunami warning system may not work as people want to see huge crashing waves. It appears that unline animals, men and women are disensitized by impending danger. Most of the animals survived the tsunami. Humans did not do well.

I also want to say thanks to the editor of technorati for linking to AmericaresAboutYou too.

Thanks to Waypath for linking or crawling my blogs.

Blogging is cool. We, the People, now have a voice. We are not just sitting around being spoonfed by the established media whose interests are not always ours anyway.

Keep up the good work, fellow bloggers!

Servant Leadership & AmericaresAboutPeople Network!

Every human being is important. People are important and so are you. Why not after all? We are all God's creatures. No matter how poor you may be, you are important. No matter how rich you may be, you are important too. It's time that a network recognizes the value of people around us. We meet them at work, church, school, online and in the community. Respecting and appreciating another human being is the first step toward peace and freedom. The greatest power that one can exercise is that of "servant leadership." Serving others allows us to truly experience the human conditions. Throughout our lives, there are many events that truly give us the opportunity to do just that. How many times have we refused to do or contribute anything?

The recent tragedies occurring in South East Asia, the flooding in Haiti and the hurricanes of Florida show that compassion is not all gone from the face of this earth. We have realized that "you" are an equal contributor. You play a major role in the outcome of events.

AmericaresAboutPeople will cheer up and boost your morale so you can continue to do the best that you can for your fellow men and women. We are living in an interdependent state. We need each other to survive. The local residents of the affected countries were needed to rescue the European, American tourists who were involved in the earthquake and tsunami. In turn, most of their countrymen ended up being rescued by troops from the US navy. We all need each other on this earth.

AmericaresAboutPeople will highlight various acts of courage, generosity, humanitarian acts and compassion all over the world. If you know of any good stories where the protagonist did something great for somebody else, please let us know about it. If technology has been used to alleviate human suffering, we would like to know about it. Of course, technology is everywhere these days. We would like your interaction with it.

AmericaresAboutPeople will publish your stories of success, triumph and defeat. Through them all, we will learn lessons for the rest of our journey on this earth.

Mission Aviation Fellowship Installs VSAT, Pumps Out Salt Water, Flies Relief Workers, NGOs To Remote Areas

Do you want me to tell you something really subversive? Love is everything it's cracked up to be. That's why people are so cynical about it. It really is worth fighting for, being brave for, risking everything for. And the trouble is, if you don't risk anything, you risk even move.
-Erica Jong, How to Save Your Own Life


A new Addition: Closet Cleaners Foundation

"To this very hour we go hungry and thirsty, we are in
rags, we are brutally treated, we are
homeless.
We work hard with our own hands.
When we are cursed, we bless;
When we are slandered, we answer
kindly.
Up until this moment we have become the
scum of the earth, the refuse of the world."

-1 Corinthians 4:11-13

-- Closet Cleaners Foundation wants to go after "the scum of the earth, the refuse of the world." We often see ourselves in their images! In many ways, MAF's ministry can be summarized by the above verse too.


Mission Aviation Fellowship's Fleet of Airplanes Ready to Fly in Tsunami Areas

In its 60 illustrious years of overcoming barriers and bringing the gospel to people in remote areas in many parts of the world, Mission Aviation Fellowship has been like a godsend type of ministry to the numerous missionaries, NGOs, local pastors and residents. Who else to know this better? As a former employee of MAF-Latin America, specially Haiti, I had first-hand account of what this organization can achieve in the lives of the unfortunate. Once again, from its Indonesia program, MAF pilots have been able to fly necessary resources and medical professionals to the heart of the ravaged areas in Banda Aceh, Meulaboh. They have been able to file various reports which you can read on their Indonesia Tsunami Relief page.

Headquartered in Redlands, California, the company is sending various teams of experts in communication to help install VSAT to facilitate communication between the locals, relief workers and the rest of the world. Let the pilots explain what they are going to do over there in their own terms.

It's worth noting that the company's headquarters will relocate to Idaho due to the high costs of running its operations in southern California. Once again, the economic situation of the state claims one more victim. We can understand that the company wants to use the funds raised by its sponsors to benefit destitute people in the Amazons, Brazil, Indonesia and other places. It's a true sign of leadership and stewardship.



" team of computer and communications specialists began departing today from California, headed for Sumatra. They plan to install two VSAT systems in northern Sumatra to aid in coordination of the ongoing relief efforts.

In plain English, a VSAT system is a ‘satellite internet system’ which provides high speed internet connectivity. This can be used for e-mail, web browsing, transmission of digital photos and video, and VOIP (voice over IP phones) – all the things that we would use cable modem or DSL for here in the US. But the VSAT provides a large amount of bandwidth, which is sufficient to provide service for a whole group of clients. For the project in Sumatra, all of these services will be available to the humanitarian community to coordinate their relief efforts. The planned implementation of VSAT in two separate 'internet cafe-style' installations will allow relief workers from many agencies in the very remote areas to maintain critical up-to-date contact with others as well as the supply line that is vital to keep the relief work going
."

MAF's pilots and support staff are a bunch of highly dedicated people who know the Lord as their personal savior. They are committed to their work among these afflicted people. If you want to support their Indonesia Tsunami Disaster Relief efforts, you can do so. Flying to remote areas, jungle areas for the most part, requires lots of expenses. Fuel is expensive. Staff need to be compensated. Since the planes have to land in rough landing clearing, the company has to spend a fortune in purchasing parts. If you have been looking for the right company to send your donations to, MAF is a legit, reliable, stewardship-oriented one.

Here's what MAF is all about: (Please visit the company's webpage to find out more!)

Mission Aviation Fellowship focuses on five specific areas of activity in reaching out to help those in need:

Evangelism and Church Support: Connecting missionaries and local pastors with unreached people, transporting national church workers to isolated villages, and theological eduction by extension.
Community Development: Supplying and transporting Christian staff and supplies for health and community improvement projects, village enhancements such as water wells, and small MAF-built hydroelectric plants.
Medical Assistance: Providing medical emergency evacuations, transporting medicines and health workers to the sick and injured.
Crisis Relief: Transporting food for the hungry, and critical relief supplies and agency personnel to disaster areas.
National Training: Educating pilots, mechanics, avionics technicians, radio and electronics specialists, and administrative and support personnel

What Tools Do They Use?

Aviation: Flying supplies, food, people, livestock, and other cargo aids greatly in the development of communities.
Information Technology: Establishing and maintaining radio, email, and other communications tools in remote areas. These have become essential tools for thousands of local humanitarian and mission workers.
Learning Technologies: Responding to the needs of the emerging church by providing vision, leadership and the necessary technology for training leaders through Distance Education and digital Bible resources. MAF-LT provides training and consulting as well as leadership in collaborative LT projects.
Other Tools: Logistics services for managing materials and resources, estate planning for responsible Christian stewardship, and other valuable services.

(Excerpts from www.maf.org)

Read the most recent letter from the company's president asking for support!

JPMorgan Chase & Co. Offers Scholarship To Redress Wrong Over Slavery Era Insurance Policies

Never Too Late To Do Good

During this year's Black History month celebrations, JPMorgan Chase & Co. filed a disclosure statement with the city of Chicago acknowledging that two of its predecessor banks had received thousands of slaves as collateral before the Civil War.
This is a major development for those proposing reparations and compensation. If anything, this major U.S. bank's board of directors has decided to come clean once for all. Or at least, this is the beginning of many such revelations by financial institutions, banks, Mortgage companies and insurance companies. New York-based JPMorgan is the second largest bank in the nation. It's now ready to present its mea culpa for contribution to "a brutal and unjust institution" and said it's setting up a special scholarship fund in Louisiana to try to make amends. The bank has come forward to apologize for the of the thousands of ized Africans who did not survive the crossing and those who survived only to be treated as cattle and sub-humans on large plantations in the South. By volunteering to make amends, JPMorgan also recognized one way or the other, the enduring repercussions, impact of such a devilish system developed by men to produce goods and make money. The slaves were live goods and hard cash.

JPMorgan may be the first major banking institution to come forward. Others will surely follow. Why? The bank's officials stated that they authorized the study after Chicago pased an ordinance in 2003 "requiring companies that do business with the city to research their history to determine any links to slavery."

Chicago is not alone. The California State Legislature also passed various bills dealing with slavery links. What a better way to celebrate Black History Month than to review and read the following actions:

(Updates and commentaries about other important companies that come forward will be published here. Check back here for more development)

EXCERPTS from....
"
THE LEGISLATION

"SB 2199: Slavery Era Insurance Policies: Legislative Findings In 2000, the California State Legislature passed SB 2199, authored by former Senator Tom Hayden (D-Los Angeles). The statute is entitled "Slavery Era Insurance Policies" and adds sections 13810 through 13813 to the California Insurance Code (CIC).
The Legislature found and declared that:
(a) Insurance policies from the slavery era have been discovered in the archives of several insurance companies, documenting insurance coverage for slaveholders for damage to or of their slaves, issued by a predecessor insurance firm. These documents provide the first evidence of ill-gotten profits from slavery, which profits in part capitalized insurers whose successors remain in existence today.
(b) Legislation has been introduced in Congress for the past 10 years demanding an inquiry into slavery and its continuing legacies.
(c) The Insurance Commissioner and the Department of Insurance are entitled to seek information from the files of insurers licensed and doing business in this state, including licensed California subsidiaries of international insurance corporations, regarding insurance policies issued to slaveholders by predecessor corporations. The people of California are entitled to significant historical information of this nature.


SB 2199: Slavery Era Insurance Policies: Statute California Insurance Code section 13810 et seq. reads as follows: CHAPTER 5. SLAVERY ERA INSURANCE POLICIES
13810. The commissioner shall request and obtain information from insurers licensed and doing business in this state regarding any records of slaveholder insurance policies issued by any predecessor corporation during the slavery era.
13811. The commissioner shall obtain the names of any slaveholders or slaves described in those insurance records, and shall make the information available to the public and the Legislature.
13812. Each insurer licensed and doing business in this state shall research and report to the commissioner with respect to any records within the insurer's possession or knowledge relating to insurance policies issued to slaveholders that provided coverage for damage to or of their slaves.
13813. Descendants of slaves, whose ancestors were defined as private property, dehumanized, divided from their families, forced to perform labor without appropriate compensation or benefits, and whose ancestors' owners were compensated for damages by insurers, are entitled to full disclosure.
II. IMPLEMENTATION BY THE CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF INSURANCEA. Notice to Insurers
The legislation was effective on January 1, 2001. On January 3, 2001, the Department began the process of implementing the provisions of the statute through the process of adding 2393 et seq., to the California Code of Regulations.
The Department issued a Notice to Insurers regarding "Slaveholder Insurance Law." The Notice set forth in relevant part, that CIC sections 13810 et seq. took effect on January 1, 2001 and that the statute required insurers to provide information to the Department regarding slaveholder insurance policies together with any names of slaves and slaveholders in their possession. The Notice also indicated that the Department would hold hearings in order to gather public comment regarding the proposed regulation to implement the statute.

Rulemaking On January 26, 2001, the Department issued public notice that hearings would be held in Los Angeles on March 13, 2001 and in San Francisco on March 16, 2001. The hearings, as required by the Government Code, were to consider and take public comment regarding the proposed regulation to implement the statute concerning the collection and reporting of information regarding insurer records of slaveholder insurance policies issued by California insurers and any of their predecessor corporations during the slavery era, which policies provided coverage to slaveholders for damage to, or of, their slaves.
The rulemaking process consisted of the January 26, 2001, publication of Notice of the Public Hearings as well as simultaneous mailing of the Notice along with a document setting forth the Initial Statement of Reasons for promulgation of the regulation and the text of the proposed regulation. These regulatory documents were mailed to all California property and casualty and life insurance companies, a statutorily mandated list of persons requesting notice of all Department regulatory actions, and to a list of interested parties. January 26, 2001, marked the beginning of the 45-day public comment period wherein the Department solicited and considered comments from the public on the proposed regulation. C. Special Invitation Letter
On February 8, 2001, the Commissioner invited nineteen insurance companies that were either identified in the press as having written slavery era insurance policies, or which the Department identified as having transacted business in California in 1868 (the year that the Office of the Insurance Commissioner was established) to attend the public hearings on the regulation.
D. Public Hearings
Public hearings were held in Los Angeles on March 13, 2001, and San Francisco on March 16, 2001. Commissioner Low commenced both proceedings with opening remarks.
The San Francisco hearing generated few public comments. The hearing was covered by two local radio stations and a filmmaker.
The Los Angeles hearing generated a large number of participants, most of whom made comments on the record regarding the issue of reparations to the descendants of African slaves. Local television and radio stations covered the hearing.
Rulemaking file submitted for approval As a result of the comments received during the public comment period (written and verbal), the Department made some changes to the proposed regulation. The proposed changes were circulated to people who had submitted written public comments, who had testified at the hearings, and to people who indicated that they would like to have notice of any changes to the regulation. The rulemaking file was submitted to the Office of Administrative Law on September 6, 2001. The regulation was effective on October 13, 2001.
III. REPORTING REQUIREMENTS
The regulation required carriers to submit the requested data by October 13, 2001, the effective date of the regulation. Reports were to be provided on paper with names of slaves and slaveholders to be provided to the Department in an electronic format as well.
The Department’s Statistical Analysis Bureau issued a Circular SEIR-2001 to 1,357 carriers that were subject to the regulation (all life insurers and property and casualty insurers licensed to do business in California), providing carriers with the requirements for the electronic format. To date, the compliance response rate is approximately 92%. We are continuously in contact with insurers that have either not responded or that have not responded completely.
The basic reasons for incomplete reporting are that the insurer failed to describe the research it did to determine whether or not it has documents related to slavery era insurance, or failed to report as to predecessor companies.
IV. INSURER RESPONSES
The vast majority of responses indicated, in some fashion, that as the insurer had been incorporated sometime after the end of the defined slavery era and since there was no predecessor company that existed during the applicable period, that the insurer had nothing to report.
The Department also received a few responses indicting that the company or its predecessor was doing business during the applicable period, and conducted a thorough search of its archives and records, but was unable to find responsive information or documents. A variation of this response was that the insurer routinely destroyed documents beyond a certain age and therefore, had no way of knowing whether or not a slavery era predecessor existed. A permutation of this response was that a slavery era predecessor existed, as evidenced by other corporate archives, but that responsive documents had been lost or destroyed.
The insurers listed herein were able to locate and provide to the Department, information and/or records responsive to the regulation.
Substantive responses were received from the following insurers.
ACE USA
Ace reported that it is the successor to two corporations, Insurance Company of North America (ICNA) and Aetna Fire, which conducted business during the slavery era.
Research methodology
Ace reported that in order to comply with the regulation, it retained a law firm to assist in its efforts to identify and compile all of the records and information related to slavery era insurance policies. Ace said that, through counsel, it contacted archivists and historians from several universities and historical societies and obtained insights on how they might most fully identify any responsive data located in its archives.
To assist in its search, Ace acquired a database of information about the transatlantic slave trade that contains the records of 27,233 transatlantic slave ship voyages made between 1595 and 1866. Ace reported that it also reviewed the historical records that it received from its predecessor corporations.

Ace reported that it found a copy of a slave policy written in 1855 by Aetna Life, and that even though this was after its separation from Aetna Fire, in the interests of full disclosure it was submitting the document. This policy insured the life a slave named Peter, identified as a laborer, and was issued in Mississippi.

AETNA
Aetna filed a report on behalf of the four of its companies presently authorized and licensed to do business in California. It stated that Aetna Life Insurance Company (ALIC) is the only one of those companies that was in existence during the slavery era.
Research methodology
Aetna reported that it established a team of lawyers, paralegals and business people, who were charged with coordinating its response and overseeing its compliance with the regulation.
Aetna reported that ALIC was incorporated in Connecticut in 1853 and was first licensed to write life insurance in California in 1868.
Aetna reported that the team conducted a thorough review of potentially relevant practices of all of its companies that issued life insurance anywhere in the United States. The team reviewed all pertinent documents in its possession and also communicated with former subsidiaries for all potentially applicable materials. It reported on materials and information still located within the company as well as materials and information transferred to the former subsidiaries.
Aetna reported an extensive internal search through its archives, by several employees, to locate records, files and other information required by the statute and to determine the extent, location and nature of its business activity and operations from the slavery era. Aetna reported that the search included, but was not limited to, historical policies, annual reports, company publications, rare books, agent instruction manuals, communications to agents, marketing materials and applications, records housed outside of the company, communications with the company’s complaint units, communications with relevant managers and other personnel, discussions with its storage facility, a review of all identifiable life insurance documents retrieved from its storage facility, as well as communications with the South Carolina Historical Society.
Aetna also reported that the team spoke to former employees now employed at its former subsidiary, who informed them that the administrative database that tracks all of the former life insurance policies does not contain any policies from the slavery era. Aetna reported that the system automatically deletes the files after the policies have terminated, and therefore, no life records would exist either in paper or electronic format. Aetna reported that it tested the database with a query that produced an extract that listed the oldest policy as one that was issued in 1923. It reported that after reasonable efforts and due diligence, the team was not able to identify any additional records relating to slavery era insurance.
Names of slaves and slaveholders
Aetna’s search uncovered seven policies, some of which cover multiple lives. In most instances, there is no record of the last name of the insured slave. Five of the policies were found in the company’s archive, and the other two were obtained from outside sources. Aetna produced a list of sixteen first names of slaves culled from the seven policies. Sometime after its initial report, Aetna discovered a ledger book containing the names of slaves and slaveholders and submitted those additional names as well....."

Get more info right here: http://www2.bankone.com/presents/home/

Successful Change Stories: Fresno County's MAGEC

A little boy celebrating his birthday in his front yard got shot and was left quadriplegic during a drive-by shooting. The same week, a father was invited to share a beer with his new neighbor in the latter's backyard. A white truck slowly drove by while one of its occupants opened fire on the neighbors. None of these victims had a gang affiliation. A promising football player was ambushed, beaten and left for dead in an alley. Cars were broken into, stolen, and vandalized.
"An auto theft occurs every 26 seconds in the United States!"
National Insurance Crime Bureau

According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), the top 5 most commonly stolen vehicles in California for the year 2002 were:

Toyota Camry
Honda Accord
Honda Civic
Toyota Pickup
Chevrolet Full Size C/K Pickup
Fresno has been an unfortunate member of the cities and ports where most cars are stolen and sent to foreign countries. The local papers were full of articles reporting the crimes committed by the gang members. Fear envelopped the city.

The preceding was a mere sample of the glaring statistics of crime and violence in this mostly agricultural corner of California. Just like any growing cities, Fresno has its share of criminal elements. They are mostly affiliated with long-established gangs such as Crips, Norteno, Sureno, etc.

The local law enforcement agencies had to be proactive. They had to come together to combat gang activities in the city of Fresno and county.

What is MAGEC?

MAGEC stands for Multi Agency Gang Enforcement Consortium. It's a unique law enforcement body which includes agents from the California Highway Patrol, Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement, Federal Bureau of Investigations, Drug Enforcement Administration, Internal Revenue Service, State Parole, Fresno County Probation supervisors, the California Department of Corrections and the Immigration & Naturalization Service. Also, the Forensic Laboratory of the Fresno County Sheriff’s Department agreed to receive, analyze, and maintain custody of all controlled substances seized and submitted by members of MAGEC. Furthermore, the booking fees at the Fresno County jail were dropped in order to hurry up the bad guys' exit from the street.

The respected agency delivered a vast level of experience and provided a new channel of reputable training resources. This complimented and increased the successful momentum of MAGEC throughout California. The men & women of MAGEC believe that the multi-agency & multi-level approach to combat gang crime is the most comprehensive and effective method in existence. The reduction of gang crime is evident throughout Fresno County.


In a recent report by the National Drug Intelligence Center working under the US Department of Justice, the contributions of the courageous men and women forming MAGEC were mentioned.

The fight against gang activities is an ongoing one. Today thanks to the presence and rapid response of MAGEC in the Fresno county, gang members have to think twice before they commit a crime or participate in a drive-by shooting.

"The Multi-Agency Gang Enforcement Consortium (MAGEC), formed in 1997, has had a dramatic impact on gang violence in Fresno and surrounding communities. MAGEC's 80 members are drawn from participating federal, state, and local agencies; 50 members are assigned full-time. Gang-related homicides in Fresno decreased from 19 in 1997 to 10 in 1998, 2 confirmed and 2 possible in 1999, and 2 through May 2000."

More and more California cities are now following the example of Fresno and want their own MAGEC.

The torrents of tears that ran through Fresno are drying up.

Links:

http://www.fresnosheriff.org/Patrol/MAGEC.htm

http://autos.msn.com/advice/article.aspx?contentid=4019913&src=News

http://www.usdoj.gov/ndic/pubs/653/meth.htm

Organizational Change: Change Failures: Rise and Fall: AOL Time Warner Merger

Rise and Fall: AOL Time Warner Merger

Merging with an established company such as Time
Warner made complete sense for AOL. After all, it had
so much to gain from Warner. Having been very
successful in bringing access to the Internet to
millions of users via an ISP, AOL covets the prime
real estate of broadbands. It needed to gain access
to broadband. Otherwise, it would be in a sorry
condition watching its assets plummeting. AOL has
long recognized that the future of the Internet lies
in providing broadband services. Shockwave and other
browser plug-in’s, streaming audio & video, vivid and
colorful e-magazines, large file downloads such as MP3
and video clips, interactive web sites, and
e-commerce, video conferencing/personal conferencing
(Microsoft NetMeeting), all work 100% better with
broadband. Ever try and watch a video clip, or listen
to streaming radio over a 56kbs pipe, let alone a
33.6, or 28.8kps pipe.

At the time, the deal between AOL and TimeWaner made
complete sense. This merger represented too dramatic
a change for both the people of AOL and TimeWarner.
Many of the employees ended up losing their jobs. A
merger always caused such changes. The interests of
these two groups soon pitted them against each other.
AOL people were against TimeWarner people. They were
resisting the change that need to happen to make the
new company effective.

TimeWarner had so much to lose. Its reputation was on
the line. Stakeholders were getting angry because AOL
was no golden goose. “The AOL - Time Warner merger
has also resulted in remarkable bitterness among the
Time Warner people at the failure of AOL to be the
goose that laid the golden egg.”
This deal was supposed to allow the two companies to
centralize their vast offering under the AOL banner,
instantly reaching over 20 million households
worldwide. While that is a lot of eyes, TimeWarner had
already reached a huge audience with its magazine, CNN
and Warner Brothers studio releases and Warner
Brothers records, and vast cable channel holdings.

No wonder that the merger did not live up to its
claims. It’s leaving Steve Case questioning his
decision. The negativity took its toll on the CEO.
“A trusted advisor should have emphasized this
reality: Corporate marriages can be colossal trouble.
The drive to acquire companies may be endemic in
corporate America, but almost all mergers fail to
produce intended business results, experts say.
A key reason is that companies don't spend enough time
evaluating the impact that mergers have on employees,
says Ron Elsdon, director of retention services at
DBM, a human resources consultancy in New York.
"Mergers have an unusually high failure rate, and it's
always because of people issues."
The Belgard Group, a strategic transformation
consultancy in Oregon, says, “To be successful in a
merger, you have to show respect for the acquired
company's culture and ways' he says. "Your goal should
be to achieve something together that neither company
could do alone?' Unfortunately, once the deal is done,
buyers often lose sight of that goal. They try to fold
the new company into the existing one, squashing the
acquiree's creativity, leadership, and vision in the
process.”
The merger did not work. Maybe Steve is to blame.
“In a rare moment of candor during an appearance this
week at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View,
California, former AOL CEO Steve Case took blame for
the failure that was the AOL/Time Warner merger. "I
probably wasn't the right guy to be a chairman of a
company with 90,000 employees," he noted.


Links:


http://tinotopia.com/cgi-bin/mt3/mt-tb.cgi/37

http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0FXS/is_2_82/ai_97757547

http://www.wininsider.com/news/?7765

raq's Elections & Participation: The Assyrians of the San Joaquin Valley Travel To Vote at LA Polling Station

Central Valley of California Assyrian Group organizes caravan to LA booth: As seen on Highway 99, CA

Rejected for many years and persecuted in their ancestral lands of Iraq and Iran, they relocated to the land of freedom and justice, the United States of America. The descendents of the Assyrians living in Ceres, Modesto, Turlock and surrounding areas are important contributors to the cultural fabric of the Valley. They are the engineers, teachers, farmers, doctors and real estate agents or brokers. They value education and try to instill it in their kids. They don't forget what their ancestors had to go through before coming to America. Having access to land and water, they farm. But nothing came easily. Just like any groups settling in the long stretch of the Valley floor, they had to fight and work hard to get ahead. America gives a chance to all groups that want to apply themselves to working hard.

Voting Gives voice to all Iraqis all over the world, especially the Assyrians


As I travel on Highway 99 early this morning, I stumbled upon this caravan of vehicles with license plates ranging from Modesto, Ceres and other nearby areas. I started to question who these people are and where they were going to. Iraqi Americans want to show their fellow men and women left in the old country that they understand their sacrifices. They want to support them by going to the polling stations spread in a few places in the U.S.A. They understand the conditions under which they have to go out to exercise their natural rights which were denied to them by the Saddam Hussein's dictatorial regime. They also understand the sacrifices accepted by the US forces which continue to fight valiently and be attacked by insurgents all over Bagdad and other parts of Iraq. The losses of American and British soldiers' lives are not in vain. The Assyrians of the San Joaquin Valley are traveling to the Los Angeles polling station to vote. They are telling the rest of the world that they count all along. Even though they were silenced, they want to reclaim their voice. Far too many people died before seeing this new day.

Who are the Assyrians?


They are an ancient group of people dating back to the old testament. They are different from the Syrians of Syria. They are ethnic groups typically found in Iraq and Iran. After being persecuted in those lands, they migrated to the U.S.S to settle in the San Joaquin areas of Modesto, Ceres, Delhi, Los Banos, Mantica, Merced etc.

"Today, the San Joaquin Valley (Turlock, Modesto, Ceres, Manteca and the neighboring towns) is the home for some (15,000) Assyrians. It is a bustling Assyrian community with seven churches, four clubs, and youth and adult cultural groups, in addition to various athletic teams and much more. Assyrians have available to them many hours of TV and radio broadcasting whether via public or private enterprises. Many Assyrian youth attend local and remote universities and go on to become prominent citizens in the community. The Assyrians are part of almost every business in the San Joaquin Valley. They are the lawyer, engineer, teacher, professor, technician, car dealer, farmer, real estate agent or broker, insurance agent, hair stylist, restaurant owner, doctor, nurse, convenient storeowner, artist, gas station owner, and others. Among the Assyrians today, there are those who live an average life and those who had become millionaires and live lavishly. They all work together to make their community a better place to live." www.nineveh.com

Happy voting to you all, Iraqis of the world and home country!


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Thank You, World, United Nations, NGOs, and United States of America!

Fellow Men and Women of the World:

On behalf of all those affected in this region, we would like to express my gratitude to you for coming to our help and rescue. To America, Spain, Canada, France, England, Japan, and many other countries that responded by pledging and sending assessment teams, money and medical supplies, I want to say thank you. You have given us and our people new reasons to hope and live in this devastated part of the world. There are no words that can describe our gratitude now that we see how willing and generous you are. Hope is not all gone from the face of this earth.

We would like you to know something: we truly value your efforts at helping us rebuild our infrastructures and our lives. In a matter of minutes, our world was shattered by these killer waves. We could not get out of the mud with your help. We could not get fed without your pilots and armies of soldiers working very hard to reach us in the most remote areas of our once-idyllic paradise. For a long time, we won't have much to offer to your countrymen who used to flock to our shores. We are sorry that so many of them perished with us. We are wondering whether they'll want to come back once we rebuild the tourism industry. If they don't hurry up, we'll understand that the memories of these well-published tragedies are still fresh on their memories. We know that in the future all of us will be able to put these horrors behind us.

We are specially thankful to the countries that sent their resources, know-how, money and soldiers to help us out. We want to thank the US for using their navy, helicopters and soldiers to feed us, clothe us, shelter us and protect us. We see a new face of the last Superpower. We now understand the position of the United States in the world. The U.S. offers to us the best of their countrymen, battle ships, and medications in these times of high calamity. Their kindness is tremendous. Never will we forget their generosity. They truly care about us when we had nothing to offer to them. This is truly a true humanitarian act on their part. We would like everybody to know that feeding us and showing us compassion are more powerful acts.

We want to thank the other countries, individuals and corporations that send money and medical supplies to our people. We are just thankful that you understood our situation.

Please don't give up on us as we'll need your help in the weeks, months and years ahead.

Thanks very much.







Amerikakankare's Sponsored Links:

Quake Relief, Rebuilding, and Response Board
Find Affordable and Quality Homes
Participate in the Tsunami Relief Efforts

Visit Americawithyou

Tsunami Killer Waves and the Rise of Video Blogging and Podcasting



Source of this video: Tommy Lorenetsen et al.

The killer waves that devastated Phuket Island, Phi Phi, Kao Lak, Colombo, Banda Aceh and many other parts of the South East Asian region may have caused the diffusion of video blogging. Until the last week of December, many people were not too familiar with video blogging if they were not part of the tech community. With so many people all over the world wanting to see the rushing of the ocean onto the beach and land areas, video blogging will surely catch up in 2005.

If you want to see the effects of the waves on the affected regions, there are a few blogs to turn to:

1. Cheese and Crackers is the first blog that will offer you a great serving of pictures, text explaining the video and other tidbits. In the days after the earthquake and tsunami, Jordan Golson made a good move. He outran and outfoxed all the other established news channels and media to present his new creation. Since that time, it has been going like a wild fire. Jlgolson.blogspot.com presents more pictures of the Indian Ocean tragedy than any news programs whether they are TV or newspaper. That's the good thing about the Internet. If you want to see graphic pictures of the tsunami, the pictures are presented on the blog in the form of links to other blogs or websites. Credits and sources of materials published on the site are posted.

2. If you did not have the time to catch up with the news, don't worry. Blogsnow will keep you posted. Not only will you have access to the current news, but you will also tap into the site's archives. The information is arranged, presented in such a pleasing manner. There is no doubt that the owner of Blogsnow have created a good service. The ranking of the blogs is the main service offered by blogsnow.com.

Video blogs have recently made their apparition. They are here to stay. Now when you add video blog to podcasting, you will get a different brew. The times have come for the ordinary guy to have access to his own communications platform. The democratization of the communications channels are made possible by the Internet.




Amerikakankare's Sponsored Links:

Quake Relief, Rebuilding, and Response Board
Find Affordable and Quality Homes
Participate in the Tsunami Relief Efforts
Visit Americawithyou

Paradise Lost: Destruction of Famed Asian Beaches

In less than 10 minutes, lives of residents of up to 12 Asian, European and African countries changed. The earthquake that hits Indonesia produced huge wave killers that also affected residents of various European and American continents. Many vacationers took advantage of the end-of-the-year holidays to go to a once-idyllic island in Thailand. They came from Norway, Sweden, Belgium, France, Australia, England, New Zealand, Finland, South Africa and some Central and South American countries. A lot of them wanted to find out about this magic place made famous by Leonardo Di Caprio and Co. who shot a film there a few years ago.

For many vacationers, et Island was like a home away from home. They had been going there for a long time. They appreciate the local residents, foods and openmindedness. More importantly, they loved the large expanse white sandy beaches surrounded by coconut groves. In the last few years, many westerners have built homes and resorts on and around the island to capitalize on the growing tourism industry. Now, all that is left are the devastations and the memories of lost lives and short-lived dreams. The recent events in this part of the world show our interconnectedness and how we need to pool our efforts to survive together as the human species. There are far more natural destructive forces that we have to defend ourselves against. What happens to one affects us all whereever we may be.

So far, many countries and individuals have sent assessment teams to Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand and India to find out about the extent of the devastation. Each one of us can do something to help. Money is needed. Already, many rich countries have already made pledges of millions of dollars. The day-to-day survival of the victims depends on how much we contribute to the relief effort.

Find more information on how you can help

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Amerikakankare's Sponsored Links:

Quake Relief, Rebuilding, and Response Board
Find Affordable and Quality Homes
Participate in the Tsunami Relief Efforts

Visit Americawithyou



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